SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ The Utah Starzz, who have battled low attendance for the last three years, signed a three-year contract extension with the WNBA on Friday.

``I feel what happened towards the end of last season gave us a legitimate cause for recognizing the talent that we have,'' Starzz owner Larry Miller said in a statement.

Miller signed the contract during a news conference Friday afternoon.

The Starzz were 15-17 last season but went 8-3 down the stretch with Korie Hlede and Cindy Brown in uniform. The two were acquired from Detroit for Wendy Palmer and Olympia Scott-Richardson.

``(Coach) Fred Williams did a nice job of getting that talent under control and managing it, making us really start to play competitively,'' Miller said.

Williams took over as manager after Frank Layden resigned last June.

Utah's average attendance last season was 7,544, a figure that beat only Charlotte's 7,081. Washington led the league with 15,306 and the WNBA averaged 10,207 overall.

The Starzz sold 3,000 season tickets last season, up slightly from the year before, but still well short of the league goal of 5,000.

Kevin O'Connor, the new vice president for basketball operations for the Utah Jazz, said he was eager to work with the Starzz.

``We are committed to making our Utah team one of the better teams in the league,'' O'Connor said.